Dear Jeff Bezos: We Need Digital Transformation

I want Amazon to transform the book industry.

“Digital transformation” is the current buzzword in business, and the use cases for improving the book buying experience with machine learning and artificial intelligence are a no-brainer.

Let me give you a user story so your scrum teams can start planning right away:


As an avid reader and independent author, I want Amazon to be more predictive about customer reading preferences so that the site can suggest great new matches and improve sales for everyone.


  1. Half of the suggestions in the “Books You May Like” section are books I already own and have read.
    • Amazon should consider data from Goodreads (which it owns) to understand my reading preferences, since I’ve rated hundreds of books there already.
    • Amazon should periodically ask me about my reading tastes, independent of my purchases, to help suggest better books to me. For example, as part of my shopping or shipping experience, ask “What was your favorite book this year? What was your least favorite?” This answer may be a title I bought at a brick-and-mortar store. Use this information to feed the engine.
  2. Amazon should give authors a way to say “my book is like this book” to help the algorithm suggest better books.
  3. Amazon should give me a way to anonymously rate books I don’t like so I can provide feedback without making other authors feel bad. I’m often reluctant to give low ratings on books because I don’t want to hurt feelings. However, it would be helpful to tell the AI that I don’t want any more books by this author or don’t want to see other books of this type.

There are plenty of other suggestions where these came from. Making the site more predictive about reader’s tastes will increase book sales. I know there’s a way to make software smart enough to serve up the right books to the right readers, and the algorithm can be more sophisticated than simply promoting the small percentage of books that are already selling.

I want Amazon to transform the book industry, and I bet you do too. So what do you say? Can we see this on your product roadmap for Q2 2019? :-)